Episode 98

Published on:

2nd Dec 2022

98 — StoicMom: Using Her Child’s Trans Identity for Personal Individuation

StoicMom is a certified life coach and former classroom teacher who has some unique ideas about parenting and education. Like other moms whose lives have been altered when their teens adopted a trans identity, StoicMom was initially determined to rescue her daughter from this dangerous ideology. She quickly recognized what she was up against and sunk into desperate fear and rage. StoicMom did “all the things” to get her daughter to desist — she even moved her family to a small town in a red state — but this backfired, as gender identity theory was everywhere. Repeated failures at getting her daughter to desist left her feeling impotent and hopeless.

Eventually, StoicMom had to accept that her approach was also taking a toll on her health and relationships. To restore sanity and stability to her home, she’d need to find a better way. So, she turned to her life-coaching toolbox and decided to reframe what was happening to her daughter and to herself. Knowing she couldn’t really control her daughter’s experience, StoicMom decided she would take charge of her own.

In addition to immersing herself in studying attachment theory, conflict resolution, and communication skills, StoicMom focused on the gratitude she felt for her family members’ healthy qualities. She grounded herself in her values and worked to let go of the focus on her daughter’s outcomes.

Earlier this year (2022), StoicMom launched a substack where she wrote about her approach and hoped other parents would find a bit of solace from the outrage culture. StoicMom also relaunched her coaching practice and now works 1:1 with parents who are interested in changing their inner worlds as a way to heal and grow through this destabilizing experience. Her 18-year-old daughter still identifies as transgender, but, as you’ll hear, StoicMom now recognizes her child is on her own individuation process, and she’s actually doing great. StoicMom now expresses gratitude for this journey with her daughter and is using the process as inspiration to become a better human.

Quotes & Link:

  • “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” 

― J. Krishnamurti

  • “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ― Albert Einstein

  • StoicMom Substack: 


Extended Notes

  • StoicMom makes suggestions to parents but doesn’t consider herself a parent coach.
  • Has this generation taken away a child’s ability to be adaptable and survive?
  • StoicMom and her daughter bonded over the incongruencies in the education system.
  • The relationship between StoicMom and her daughter started to crack when they disagreed on the daughter’s desire to become diagnosed and medicated.
  • A friend informed StoicMom that her daughter preferred a different name and identity.
  • StoicMom and her husband both worked in Wilderness therapy prior to their daughter’s intervention.
  • After the Wilderness program, when StoicMom asked her daughter about her identity her daughter told her it didn’t exist.
  • StoicMom realized her daughter was binding her breasts.
  • When StoicMom and her daughter finally conversed about her being trans-identified.
  • In the Pivotal Moments piece on her substack, StoicMom reframes her experiences into gratitude.
  • StoicMom’s daughter never went back to the traditional education environment.
  • StoicMom adopted the practice of stoicism to focus on what she had control over.
  • StoicMom is testing the waters of calling herself an Individuation coach.
  • StoicMom strives to be a model for her daughter on how to work through life’s challenges, be resilient, and be adaptable.
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About the Podcast

Gender: A Wider Lens Podcast
Two therapists explore the expanding concept of "gender" from a psychological depth perspective.
Gender dysphoria has become a minefield for public discussion, with many afraid to express their views or question the narrative. Our mission is to examine this important and complex topic from a range of perspectives, but always through a psychological lens. By openly considering and examining gender identity, transition, and the transgender umbrella, we hope to give all interested parties permission to engage these fascinating topics with less fear and more honesty. Interviews and discussions will involve clinicians, medical professionals, academics, transgender people, parents, detransitioners and other interesting individuals whose lives have been touched by the concept of gender.

Conversations between two practicing therapists give listeners an opportunity to contemplate gender from a depth perspective not currently taken up in most of today’s accessible debates. As a result of their work with gender dysphoric therapy clients as well as their personal divergent experiences with gender, Stella and Sasha hold a refreshing and informed perspective.

Is gender identity a facilitation of development and expression of creativity, or can it be a defense against painful existential realities of living in a human body? What can we discover about masculinity, femininity, identity, gender performance, and sexuality when we peer beneath the surface and dive into a deeper psychological exploration? What is the relationship between body, mind, identity, culture, and psyche?

This podcast engages listeners in an intimate and fascinating behind-the-scenes inquiry about a topic as taboo as it is salient today.

* We are sponsored by ReIME and Genspect.
Rethink Identity Medicine Ethics (ReIME) is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving long term care for gender variant individuals. To learn more, visit https://rethinkime.org/

Genspect is an international alliance of parent and professional groups whose aim is to advocate for parents of gender-questioning children and young people. Parents are concerned that their kids are not receiving appropriate treatment and support; many do not feel free to speak out about their concerns.
To learn more, visit https://genspect.org/
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About your hosts

Stella O'Malley

Profile picture for Stella O'Malley
Stella O’Malley is a psychotherapist and author who works in private practice in Ireland. Her work focuses on parenting, family dynamics and working with teenagers.

Much of Stella’s counselling and writing focuses on mental health and the importance of well-being and she is a regular contributor to the media. She is also the resident psychotherapist for the current TV series, Raised by the Village, a family programme that helps troubled teenagers reconnect with themselves and their families.

Stella's first book, Cotton Wool Kids, was released in 2015 while Bully-Proof Kids: Practical tools to help kids grow up confident, resilient and strong was released in 2017. Stella’s latest book Fragile, was released in 2019 and focuses on overcoming anxiety and stress.

Stella was the presenter of the documentary Trans - Kids: It’s Time To Talk broadcast on Channel 4 in November 2018 and she contributed a chapter to the 2019 book, Inventing Transgender Children and Young People.

The Jungian analyst, Lisa Marchiano, and Stella launched Secrets of the Motherworld in September 2019, offering thoughtful exploration of the most intimate aspects of motherhood in a bid to help mothers feel less alone.

Stella is a Clinical Advisor for the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners. She is also the lead facilitator for the Gender Dysphoria Support Network.

Stella holds a B.A. in Counselling and Psychotherapy and a M.A. in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

Sasha Ayad

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Sasha Ayad is a Licensed Professional Counselor who works in private practice, and has treated adolescents for over 10 years. Her work focuses on teens and young adults struggling with issues of gender dysphoria and gender identity.

She became interested in the sharp rise in teenagers who declare a trans identity for the first time during adolescence. She discovered, through working with hundreds of families, that many teens were developing gender dysphoria only after adopting a transgender identity. She questions the practice of medical transition for children and teenagers, and her clinical work focuses on developmentally appropriate, least-invasive-first talk therapy.

Sasha is also a founding member and Clinical Advisor in the Society for Evidence-based Gender Medicine and a founding member of the International Association of Therapists for Desisters and Detransitioners.

Sasha’s previous work experience includes:
- School counselor for middle and high school students at a charter school for underserved communities

- Behavioral therapy with children on the autism spectrum

- Individual and group counseling for women and children impacted by domestic abuse and sexual violence

- Developed and ran the first counseling program at a large state supported living facility for adults with intellectual disability

Sasha holds a B.S. in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology.